Millions and millions of dollars are spent each year across the globe by people who will do just about anything to regain the tight and wrinkle-free skin of their youth. Enter botox – a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. This is the very same toxin that causes botulism, the potentially fatal food poisoning. Despite this, it is an alarmingly popular beauty treatment.
Botox injections weaken or paralyze certain muscles or block nerves to smooth facial wrinkles and temporarily tighten the skin. The drug is also used for other health conditions such as excessive blinking, overactive bladder, chronic migraines, and excessive underarm sweating, to name a few.
Lasting only three to twelve months, botox’s side effects when used for beauty include pain, swelling, and bruising at the injection site. Flu-like symptoms, including upset stomach and headaches, are often reported along with the eyelids’ temporary drooping. Long-term risks include drooling, crooked eyebrows, facial paralysis, and excessive tearing or eye dryness.
Botox is not cheap either – costing up to $600 for a brow lift, $1200 for a jaw lift, $950 for a neck lift, and $350 for chin dimpling. Remember, these treatments need to be repeated every three to twelve months. Many people report that using botox creates a sort of “fake” beauty that is easy to recognize and looks anything but natural.
People who use or are considering botox often forget that you can tug, tighten, fill, and paralyze all day long, but this will not bring about healthy and glowing skin. It only masks the signs of aging for a little while.
Healthy alternatives for radiant skin
One reason people lean towards surgeries and botox injections is because they can see immediate results (after the swelling and bruising go down). We live in a culture that is addicted to instant gratification, and botox offers this. However, if you are a bit more patient and committed, there are other, healthier ways to brighten, lighten, tighten, and moisturize your skin for a lasting youthful glow without the hefty price tag or serious risks of botox.
Known as a natural facelift, massage is not a newcomer to the health and beauty scene. Its therapeutic benefits are well documented and include things such as an increase in circulation that reduces puffiness and an increase in collagen production that keeps wrinkles at bay. Facial massage also relieves tension while lifting the skin and making it firmer. Here are a few facial massages you can do at home to keep your skin looking its best, naturally.
- Forehead – Smooth your forehead with a firm and lifting movement using your fingertips. Start at your eyebrows and finish at your hairline. Next, use the pads of your fingers to make small circular movements starting between your eyebrows and finishing at your temples.
- Eyes –Gently tap the skin under your inner eyes using your pinky fingers. Work outward towards the temples.
- Jawline and cheeks – Massage your chin, jawline, and cheeks in an upward circular movement using the pads of your fingers.
Acupuncture has been around for centuries as part of traditional Chinese medicine. Although it is commonly used to remedy such things as body aches, headaches, and nausea, there are some additional benefits regarding beauty. Facial acupuncture, when done as part of an entire acupuncture therapy session, is reported to be a safe alternative to surgery or Botox injections. Those that embrace facial acupuncture note that it helps the skin look younger, smoother, and healthier.
According to Amanda Beisel, acupuncturist, “ It works internally to optimize your health while simultaneously enhancing the appearance of your skin.” To perform it correctly, an acupuncturist inserts about 40 to 70 tiny and painless needed into the skin where they create tiny wounds. The body senses these wounds and stimulates the lymphatic and circulatory system in tandem to deliver nutrients and oxygen to skin cells. These small traumas also stimulate collagen production, which helps improve elasticity while reducing fine lines and wrinkles. One study reported that most people see positive changes in their skin in about five sessions. It is recommended that treatments be continued once every other month for best results.
Raw honey is fantastic for the skin due to its antibacterial and anti-aging abilities. It also acts as a natural cleanser and skin lubricant and aids in moisturizing.
Here are some of the ways that raw honey can keep your skin healthy and vibrant
- Honey reduces redness and fights inflammation associated with skin irritations.
- Honey contains antifungal and antibacterial properties that fight debris on the skin, which can settle into pores and lead to breakouts.
- Honey acts as a natural cleanser to sweep out dirt and keep the skin clear without drying it out.
- Honey moisturizes the skin to protect pH levels and necessary oils.
- Honey contains natural polysaccharides (sugars), which are loaded with enzymes that boost skin cell function.
- Honey helps the skin turn over by removing dead skin cells and promoting new cell growth.
- Honey fights specific types of bacteria that lead to acne and pimples.
Here is a great way to use honey in your beauty routine as a safe and effective alternative to Botox injections.
Honey Facial Cleanser
The thought of slathering your face with sticky honey might seem a little unorthodox. However, honey has some amazing properties. A dermatology study found that honey can soothe the skin and act as a humectant, drawing in moisture. Additionally, it helps keep the skin young-looking by stopping wrinkle formation. This is likely due to the anti-aging compounds that boost collagen production. Plus, enzymes in honey work as gentle exfoliators, sloughing off dead skin cells for a radiant complexion.
Here’s how to cleanse your skin with honey
- Remove your makeup, preferably using a natural oil applied to a cotton pad.
- Splash your face with warm water.
- Scoop about a 1/2 tsp of honey into the palm of your hand.
- Massage the honey gently, in a circular motion, around your face and neck. Be careful to avoid your eyes. Raw honey should never be put directly into your eyes.
- Splash your face with warm water to remove the honey. Wash off your hands, neck, and any honey you may have gotten on your arms.
- Follow with a moisturizer of your choice.
Remember – The key to obtaining the most benefits from honey as a beauty aid is to purchase 100-percent organic raw honey. You’ll want to avoid buying highly processed honey that’s not raw or organic because the more it is heated and processed, the fewer nutrients it contains, and the less you’ll benefit. Non-organic honey is also a likely source of chemicals and pesticides you don’t want to be applying to your skin (the largest organ you have).
In addition to the above natural ways to keep your skin looking its best, don’t forget to drink plenty of purified water and eat a healthy diet loaded with whole foods, including fruits and vegetables. Healthy foods contain antioxidants to gobble up the free radicals that can destroy your skin.